Consumers Energy breaks ground on new natural gas training center in Flint

FLINT—The Jackson-based utility Consumers Energy has broken ground on a new natural gas training center in Flint. To be called Flint Gas City, the center will serve as a training resource for more than 1,500 Consumers Energy employees who build, maintain and operate natural gas infrastructure.

“Flint Gas City is a breakthrough initiative that directly impacts our goal to provide world-class performance and deliver hometown service,” said Tonya Berry, vice president of gas operations at Consumers Energy. “This facility, along with our training team, will provide the best possible preparation for our current and future workforce.”

Developed in partnership with the Michigan State Utility Workers Council, the $10.1 million center will be located at the Flint Service Center, 3201 E. Court St.

“The development of this learning center in conjunction with the Michigan State Utility Workers Council is a testament to our strong partnership and commitment to ensuring our employees have the necessary training and resources to deliver safe, reliable natural gas to the communities where we live and serve,” said Amanda Wagenschutz, vice president of people and culture operations at Consumers Energy.

The training center will feature learning environments designed specifically for the natural gas industry, including a command center where instructors will create and control various training scenarios, such as gas leak simulations, service hook-ups, utility locating, leak detection and corrosion monitoring.

Construction is expected to be complete in winter 2022.

“This new state-of-the-art training center will build on our safety culture and commitment by providing an immersive experience with the equipment, scenarios and environments our natural gas workers deal with every day,” said Craig Wright, president of the Michigan State Utility Workers Council.

Once complete, the 1.4-acre complex will also include:

  • A mock neighborhood of mini-homes and businesses with functioning pipelines, meters and other natural gas facilities
  • An outdoor space for practicing heavy equipment use in a safe, controlled environment
  • A controlled outdoor area to practice fighting natural gas fires

In addition, the company will partner with local first responders to coordinate natural gas safety training opportunities for emergency responders.

Consumers Energy is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy Corp. (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electric services to 6.8 Michigan residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties. More at http://www.consumersenergy.com.

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